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Left tackle and U.S. Army veteran only Steelers player on the field for national anthem

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva (78) stands outside the tunnel alone during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Only one player for the Pittsburgh Steelers came out on to the field Sunday for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears.

That was offensive lineman and U.S Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva.

Villanueva is the Steelers' starting left tackle but is also a former Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan , according to the Steelers' website.

Villanueva has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, the Bronze Star Medal for overseas service, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge, according to the team.

Villanueva was the only one on the field with Steelers' coaches after head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that the team would not be present for the anthem at Soldier Field.

“We’re chasing something special here in 2017 and we’re not going to play politics,” Tomlin told CBS’s Jamie Erdahl.

Many demonstrations were held around the league Sunday during the national anthem after President Donald Trump talked about firing players who knelt during the national anthem during a rally Friday in Alabama.

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